My husband spends his days watching TV, sleeping, playing solitaire on his laptop, or viewing porn involving young girls and anal sex, something he keeps trying to do to me or have a threesome which I’ve made clear is no. Today I’ve discovered he’s been viewing porn involving dogs, which I find shocking and disgusting as he professes to be an animal lover. What do I do?

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    I’m very sorry you’re feeling distress. This must be difficult for you. I feel your anguish. And I have a reply to your question—but you may not like it.

    I believe in freedom of fantasy. In fantasy, everything is permitted and nothing is wrong. Now, it’s crucial that people be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and not try to turn many fantasies into reality. But assuming that people honor the differences between fantasy and reality, in fantasy everything is permitted and nothing is wrong.

    Pornography is fantasy. It’s a cartoon. Fantasies are often a safety valve for things we don’t get in life. If he wants anal sex or threesomes and you don’t, you have every right not to play that way. And he has the right to fantasize about what he’s not getting in real life. What’s the harm of that? Fantasies are also a way to play with experiences the fantasizer would never want to have. Plenty of men fantasize about being the hero, saving the beautiful woman from a burning building—without the slightest wish to be caught in a real fire on the 28th floor. In my humble opinion, his dog fantasies fall into that category. I can understand your feeling shocked and disgusted by his dog porn viewing, but again, as long as he honors the difference between fantasy and reality, he has a right to his fantasies, and in the real world there’s no harm … except for your outrage.

    About your outrage: You have three choices. Accept things as they are. Try to change them. Or leave him. You don’t mention leaving, so you have two choices. You can yell at him about his choices in entertainment and insist he stop viewing porn. But for men, porn presents very compelling fantasies, as compelling as cartoons are for kids, or video games are for adolescent boys. If you yell, I bet he won’t stop watching porn. He’ll just go further underground—and remember to clear his browser history so you don’t know what he’s seeing. Is that what you want?

    My suggestion: Try to accept the idea that people are free to fantasize whatever they wish. As long as they can tell the difference between fantasy and reality and don’t try to turn the former into the latter, in fantasy everything is permitted and nothing is wrong—even if it disgusts you.

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